Wading With The Virgin

Saturday, we began the night of the Fiesta de la Virgen Del Carmen watching from our terrace as the procession arrived from the church in the centre of Los Boliches and turned west onto the Paseo. Then we headed downstairs to watch their progress. We slowly worked our way onto the beach to greet their arrival, entry into the sea, and the fireworks that followed.

I stood happily ankle-to-hip–deep in water (that unpredictable surf) while I took pictures. San Geraldo stayed dry but within shouting distance. We were tired and blissful when we walked home hours later. The Virgin and her entourage continued through Fuengirola. for another hour (or more) and the partying on the street below continued into the wee hours of the morning.

From our terrace

Down on the Paseo

ON THEIR SHOULDERS.
HIGH OVERHEAD.

Onto the beach

Into the water

The fireworks

THIS FAMILY OF THREE STOLE OUR HEARTS.
THEY STOOD LIKE THAT THROUGH THE ENTIRE SHOW.

Ready For Another Virgin

Today is the Fiesta De Nuestra Señora Del Carmen, The Virgin of Carmen, patron of mariners and fishermen everywhere. As in years past, the virgin will be paraded through the streets of of our neighborhood of Los Boliches before she’s floated into the water (and back out again). I plan to get plenty of pictures tonight of the procession and the fireworks that follow. Meanwhile, here’s what it looked like around town earlier today.

(Do I have to tell you to click the images to enlarge?)

RED FLAGS MEAN ROUGH SEAS.
I SURE HOPE THEY CALM BEFORE TONIGHT. 
ALTHOUGH SWIMMING IS OFFICIALLY PROHIBITED, THE LIFEGUARDS
LET PEOPLE GO IN THE WATER IN AREAS THEY DEEM SAFE ENOUGH. NOT HERE.
THIS STRETCH, VIEWED FROM OUR TERRACE, IS CONSIDERED SAFE TODAY.
BUT TWO LIFEGUARDS FLANK THE OUTER EDGES AND WATCH CLOSELY.
TINY REPLICA OF WHAT WE’LL SEE TONIGHT.
ON DISPLAY AT THE FISHING PORT INSIDE THE COMMERCIAL FISH MARKET.
(SPONSORED BY THE FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION.)
AT THE JETTY NEAR THE PORT, FIREWORKS SET UP AND BEING GUARDED.

The Old And New Virgin Of Carmen

Fuengirola has a great installation along the paseo in our neighborhood, Los Boliches. Large historic photos of what the city looked like when it was still a sleepy fishing village, through the 1960s and ’70s when the city changed drastically.

(As always, click any image for the bigger picture.)

FROM THE TERRACE.

At the time of major development, not much thought was given to quality, environment, or history. All that mattered was tourism. Some cities and towns in Spain lost a lot of their history and beauty. Some fought back in later years and are still fighting. Fuengirola fared a bit better and was rescued sooner. It’s no longer a small, simple fishing village and some history was lost, but not all, and even more was uncovered. And the city is making every effort to improve what was done badly and to maintain control over current and future development. The improvements we’ve seen in our 3+ years here have been very positive. There are also displays in specific locations around town so you can immediately compare the old with the new. Here’s the first of several I plan to share.

IN TOWN, THE OLD CHURCH OF THE VIRGIN OF CARMEN.
THE NEW CHURCH OF THE VIRGIN OF CARMEN.
THE OLD SAN GERALDO … NO, THE NEW SAN GERALDO…
WELL, THE SAME OLD SAN GERALDO — WALKING HOME.
(CHECK OUT THE CREASES ON THE BACK OF HIS CALF FROM THE CAFÉ CHAIR!)